Huell Howser: Fans remember their favorite episodes

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Huell Howser, the host of the public television series “California’s Gold,” left behind a wealth of material when he donated the entire 18-season run of his state travelogue series to Chapman University in Orange County. And as noted fans of Howser commemorate the host’s passing on Sunday at age 67, their memories can now be backed up with video assistance.

On KCET’s website, the channel that aired “California’s Gold,” comedian James Adomian, who did a killer Howser impression for Funny or Die and the “Comedy Bang Bang” podcast, recalled his favorite episode as the “Firefall.” In this episode from 1996, Howser traveled to Yosemite National Park to learn more about the much-discussed event that turned a waterfall in the park into a golden, glowing cascade. It’s the ending of this episode, in which Howser captured a natural firefall on camera that Adomian says is what makes the installment a treasure for him.

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Upon Howser’s retirement late last year, “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening talked to the host of KPCC’s “Off Ramp” about his favorite episode of Howser’s “Visiting,” in which Howser followed around the owner of an oversized 3-foot-long goldfish as he attempts to find a new home for it. (That eventual home was in the Lake Shrine at the Self-Realization Fellowship in Pacific Palisades).

And anyone reading this on the L.A. Times website might be interested to see Howser’s 1994 episode in which he investigated reports of The Times possibly vacating its home in downtown L.A. for cheaper quarters. The host conducted the entire episode standing on the streets outside the Times’ headquarters without stepping foot inside. (It should be noted that 19 years later, the Times is still in the same spot.)


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